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9 books I read when I was 9 that shaped me into the adult I am today

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Elsa Tabet found this witty
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When I was a child, I spent a lot of my free time in the library at the public elementary school I attended until I was 12. To this day, I still spend a lot of my free time in public libraries. Even though I enjoyed doing different activities with my friends, there was something special about spending some of that free talking to the school librarian. She was a very friendly woman with curly, strawberry blonde hair who would always recommend books to me. What I think was even better was that she never stopped me from going through each and every bookshelf in that small library until I found what I wanted to take home with me that week. She never objected to me taking more than one book at the time, either.


Her encouragement and recommendations led me to some lovely discoveries that up to this day hold a special place in my heart. These are the books that shaped me into the adult I am today. I learned from them- about the world, about others, about myself. They taught me values, they fed my curiosity about all things in general, and when I reached the very last page of each one of them I was always left wanting more. They did nothing but confirm my love and passion for writing. They were a safe haven for me, and still are. Some of these books I re-read often, especially when I need to find a comforting, safe place away from adult life's difficulties and hardships. They remind me who I am, what I am, and why I am the person I've become. They've had their part in shaping that person.

Daddy Long Legs

One of the great novels of American girlhood, Jean Webster's Daddy-Long-Legs (1912) follows the adventures of an orphan named Judy Abbott, whose letters to her anonymous male benefactor trace her development as an independent thinker and writer. Its sequel, Dear Enemy (1915), follows the progress of Judy's former orphanage, now run by her friend Sallie McBride, who struggles to give her young charges hope and a new life. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Little Lord Fauntleroy

The story of a small, angelic boy from New York who is told he is the heir to an English earldom and is whisked away to the English countryside where he begins to win over his bad-tempered old grandfather. When the boy's identity is challenged, his old friends from New York come to his rescue.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley - a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years.But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry - and anyone who reads about him - will find unforgettable.For it's there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him... if Harry can survive the encounter.

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The Secret Garden

When Mary Lennox is orphaned she is sent from her home in India to live with her uncle at Misselthwaite Manor on the Yorkshire Moors. She arrives as a sour-faced, sickly and ill-tempered little girl, bewildered by her surroundings and desperately lonely. One day she discovers a way in to a secret abandoned garden and, with the help of local lad Dickon and her poorly cousin Colin, they set about restoring the garden. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a magical tale of transformation that has enchanted both children and adults since its publication in 1911. This beautiful Macmillan Collector's Library edition of The Secret Garden features an afterword by publisher Anna South. Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.

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Jane Eyre

A gothic masterpiece of tempestuous passions and dark secrets, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is edited with an introduction and notes by Stevie Davis in Penguin Classics.Charlotte Bronte tells the story of orphaned Jane Eyre, who grows up in the home of her heartless aunt, enduring loneliness and cruelty. This troubled childhood strengthens Jane's natural independence and spirit - which prove necessary when she finds employment as a governess to the young ward of Byronic, brooding Mr Rochester. As her feelings for Rochester develop, Jane gradually uncovers Thornfield Hall's terrible secret, forcing her to make a choice. Should she stay with Rochester and live with the consequences, or follow her convictions - even if it means leaving the man she loves? A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre dazzled readers with its passionate depiction of a woman's search for equality and freedom.

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Alice in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll's original, experimental classic is one of the greatest works of children's literature. In this volume, we see that amazing world, through the eyes of one of the world's top fantasy illustrators, Rodney Matthews.

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Matilda

5 year old Matilda really wants her parents to be loving and caring but they are none of these things. Matilda invents a game of punishing them each time they treat her badly and she soon discovers she has supernatural powers.

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The Witches

From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG! This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches. Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There's nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma's stories--but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!

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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

A stunning new hardback edition of this timeless classic. This is the best loved of all the Chronicles of Narnia - the first one ever written, and the book everybody remembers reading as a child. "This is the land of Narnia," said the Faun, "where we are now. And you - you have come from the wild woods of the west!" "I - I got in through the wardrobe in the spare room," said Lucy. Lucy steps into the Professor's wardrobe - but steps out again into a snowy forest. She's stumbled upon the magical world of Narnia, a land of unicorns, centaurs, fauns...and the wicked White Witch, who terrorises all. Lucy soon realises that Narnia, and in particular Aslan, the great Lion, needs her help if the county's creatures are ever going to be free again...

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These books were originally meant for children, yes, and as an editor I recommend you get them for any child you wish to help inspire them and fall in love with reading. If you want to introduce them to the literary world's wonders, these options could be a good place to start. But I also encourage you to read them yourselves if you like observing the universe with the amazement, innocence and curiosity of the 9 year old you once were. These all are classics, I know, so you've probably visited their pages before. But wouldn't it be amazing to do so again as an adult, then? To me, going back to them feels like catching up with an old friend I only see from time to time but that I hold dearly nonetheless. Perhaps because these books were my friends once, in a way. And isn't it amazing to have a warm cup of tea with an old friend every once in a while?

Bilingual (Spanish and English) creative writer and editor with a BA in Publishing and Editing from the University of Buenos Aires.

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